True prosperity is the ability to apply the power of God to meet any need—spiritual, mental and physical.

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul pros­ pereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testi­ fied of the truth [the Word] that is in thee, even as thou walkest  in the truth [the Word]. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth [the Word]” (3 John 2-4).

It would be good to point out that when the Apostle John wrote this Epistle, he was an old man and had been in the Christian walk for a long, long time—in fact, from the time of his youth. He had walked with Jesus and watched Him closely throughout His earthly ministry. John was a wise old man, strong in the Lord, and he said, “I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health.”

Through our traditional ideas, we have been lead to believe that prosperity is bad or ungodly. However, John writes that  we should prosper and be healthy and then it says in verse 11,

“Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not  seen God.” If prosperity is evil, why would He want us to pros­ per? You see, there is nothing wrong with prosperity in itself. Money is not the root of all evil. The love of money is the root of all evil (see 1 Timothy 6:10), and there are people committing this sin who don’t have a dime! I want you to realize, however, that prosperity covers much more than finances.

When John said we should prosper and be in health, he added the phrase, “Even as thy soul prospereth.” Man is a spirit; he has a soul consisting of the mind, the will and the emotions; and he lives in a body. Thus, there is spiritual prosperity; there is mental prosperity; and there is physical prosperity.

To prosper spiritually, you must be born again. When you accept Jesus as your Savior and make Him the Lord of your life, your spirit is reborn and brought into fellowship with the Father, the Almighty God. This then puts you in a position to receive from Him all the things promised in His Word.

To prosper in your soul, you must be able to control your mind, your will and your emotions. Just because you have accumulated large amounts of knowledge does not mean that your mind is prosperous. Prosperity of the mind comes when you use the knowledge that has been accumulated—when you are controlling your mind instead of your mind controlling you. Second Corinthians 10:5 says we are to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (or against the Word of God), bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. The person who does this has control of his mind and is in position to prosper mentally. You  cannot  control  your  mind  completely  without  the  Word  of God  being  alive  and  operating  inside  you.

You must control your will in the same way. Some people say, “Lord, help my will to crumble.” God doesn’t want a broken will that He can dominate. He wants your will whole and in submission to His will so that the two of you can work together in unity. When God made man, He gave him a will that has power. It is actually a godlike will because man has the right to choose his own eternal destiny. Only a god has that kind of choice! Man was made in God’s image and given the will to make up his own mind. You can go to hell if you want to and God will protect your right…you don’t have to, but you can. On the other hand, you can choose Jesus Christ and the Word of God. In Deuteronomy 30:19, God said, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” What a privilege! The choice is yours!

When a man’s soul is prosperous, his will is in line with God’s will. How can you get in line with God’s will? You can’t until you know what His Word says. His Word and His will are the same! An honest man can’t will one thing and say another. If you are in line with the Word of God, you are in line with the will of God.

Let’s discuss our emotions as part of the soul. The person who is emotionally prosperous can control his emotions. I used to think this meant never showing emotions, but that’s not so. Jesus had complete control over His emotions, yet He wept at the tomb of Lazarus! The important thing is that His weeping didn’t cause Him to join the grief-stricken throng of people. He continued to move in the Spirit. He put His priorities where they belonged and raised Lazarus from the dead. He showed emotions, but He was not moved by them.

You will never be healthier or more prosperous than your soul. You can be born again, even filled with the Holy Spirit, and still not be prosperous in your soul. For instance, an old saint of God, living in poverty, can pray revival down on a church, get everybody in town saved, and be lying in bed sick the whole time—if she does not believe the Word of God for her health! She can do these things, never knowing the fullness of the infilling of the Holy Spirit and speaking with other tongues, even though healing and prosperity belong to her all the time. You see, her soul was not prosperous in these areas; her mind had not grasped the full meaning of the Word of God; her men­ tal computer had never been fed on God’s Word concerning healing, the Holy Spirit and prosperity. She knew the Word enough to seek salvation and revival and used this knowledge to pray down the power of God. Her soul was prosperous in this area.

The world’s definition of physical prosperity (prosperity of the senses) includes gold, silver, financial favor or power, politi­ cal favor or power and social favor or power. The world’s defi­ nition of mental prosperity (prosperity of the soul) is “knowing it all.” Put these two ideas together and you have a person who can use his mind to get financial and political power. This is the world’s total concept of prosperity. You can easily see its draw­ backs! Wealth and power cannot answer every problem. Money makes a lousy god! It can’t buy good health or prevent sickness and disease from taking over the human body. Yes, it can go toward buying it, but the world’s system of healing just isn’t good enough. In the mental realm, a person can have all the facts in his head and not have the ability to use that knowledge to obtain the money or the health that he needs.

What produces spiritual, mental and physical prosperity? What brings all these areas together? The Word of God. The Bible says in Hebrews 4:12 that the Word is alive, powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword. It says that it divides the soul and the spirit, the joints and the marrow, and that it is a dis­ cerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. When you are walking in the Word of God, you will prosper and be in health.

We cannot settle for prosperity in the physical or the mental realm only. It would be easy just to settle for spiritual prosperity, but we can’t afford to be lazy and to discount physical and mental prosperity simply because we are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. It is the will of God for us to be made whole—spirit, soul and body—and to be kept that way until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Thessalonians 5:23). As you walk in the light of God’s Word, you will become pros­ perous in every area of your life.

God has a highly organized system to meet the needs of every facet of your life. The world’s system of meeting our needs works exactly opposite from God’s system. God’s system is totally adequate. The world’s idea of anything is very limited at best and stands 99.9 percent chance of being totally wrong. As believer, we must be careful not to limit God in our individual lives to what the world says is so. The problem with the world and its system of operations is that there is a spiritual mad dog loose in it and his name is Satan.

The world has a system of healing that is a miserable fail­ ure! We thank God for what good has been done with it, but we are forced to admit it falls far short of being adequate to meet the needs of the sick around us. Some men are dedicatedto it as if it were a god. The world’s system of healing makes a god of the hospital and a god of medicine. Actually, for the most part, it leaves God out entirely, and without God, it will not work! There is no way to get healing except through the power of God, either directly by His power or by the power He built into the human body. No man on earth can heal apart from God.

There are two choices before you—the world’s system of healing or God’s system of healing. God’s system and its laws are contradictory to the world’s system. The world cannot understand God’s system of caring for the human body. The Bible says the things of God are foolishness to the world (see  1 Corinthians 2:14). God made the human body. He definitely should be able to repair it. Ford Motor Company has that much sense! If they can build the whole car, surely they can build parts for it.

We haven’t known much about the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus and a lack of understanding has caused problems in making this law function for our benefit. The Apostle Paul wrote, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Romans 12:2). In order to be successful at God’s business, we must understand how His system works. Don’t expect God’s best to come from the world’s system. He will work around and through it in order to reach you, but it is always far below His best.

The absolute priority in studying prosperity is that you should never think of it from a carnal viewpoint, from the world’s attitude. You must train yourself to think in line with God’s Word. If you’re not careful, when you think of the laws of prosperity, all you will see is money—only a very small part of prosperity. True prosperity is God manifesting Himself to us in His Word. If He is manifesting Himself through His Word, He

is always within easy contact because you can handle the Word. The only way you can have God with you on a continual daily basis is through His Word. We should not judge by our feelings or by our emotions, but by what God has said in His Word.

Let’s look for a moment at the world of finance, the biggest problem area on earth. Sickness is not our main concern. There are many healthy people who are head over heels in debt, and God’s people have no business being in debt! Here again, we find that the world has a system of finance which is complex and very poor in operation. It continually rocks back and forth between the two extremes of depression and inflation.

However, when you are functioning in God’s system of finance, life can be very simple. Don’t borrow from anyone— get it from God. The problem with borrowing is that it is con­ trolled by the world’s system. In order to borrow, you must subordinate yourself to another person. Proverbs 22:7 says the borrower is the servant to the lender. By borrowing, you subor­ dinate your name to another person. This is very important be­ cause of the spiritual significance of your name. Your name is the same as your nature. If your name is good, then you are good—your reputation is good. You can do whatever your name can do. However, when you borrow and go into debt to some­ one else, you bow your knee to that person and look to him as your source of supply. This creates a spiritual problem that can be very serious, particularly if the other person is ungodly.

Look to God, He will give to you, not loan to you! Believers need to learn how to operate in God’s system. It isn’t easy to learn; but as you search the Word, you will have the desire to know God’s system. When you begin to operate by it and live by faith in every area of your life, God will step in and make  up what you don’t know. He will put you over! The deeper you get into the Word and the more you learn, the more you will expand; the more you expand, the more Satan will fight; the more he fights, the bigger the victory; the bigger your victory, the more glory to God; the more glory to God, the more you will expand! It is constant growth!

At this point, let me emphasize Satan’s part is this. When you hear the Word, when you learn to believe God—especially in the area of giving—you become dangerous to Satan! Jesus taught that the sower sows the Word and Satan comes immedi­ately to take out the Word which was sown (see Mark 4:1-20). Why? For three basic reasons:

1.     The Word of God is the key to the laws of the Spirit.
2.     The laws of the Spirit govern the laws of the natural.
3.     Satan works in the natural world.



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